MXL 990S Studio Condenser Microphone

MXL990s Studio Condenser

Mxl 990S Condenser MicrophoneMXL 990S Condenser Microphone (Update July 2014: MXL has increased their pricing for this microphone, it is still a very good buy).

The MXL 990s Condenser Microphone is based on the hugely popular MXL990, this model adds a -10dB pad and 150Hz low-cut switch. The 990s is a true, phantom-powered, condenser microphone with a 6-micron, 20mm gold-sputtered diaphragm with high quality FET preamp and balanced output.

The MXL 990s has a 30Hz - 20kHz frequency range and a 130dB maximum SPL. Supplied with shock-mount and mic stand adapter Comes in rugged carrying case. Wired with Mogami cable.

Mxl 990S Condenser Microphone

About The Author


David is a 20 year veteran of live and recorded audio. Today he is a consultant in this field and conducts technical, musical, and creative arts conferences for volunteer organizations. He is also the author of the podcast and blog where his passion is to teach people how to create professional audio on any size budget. David has been a singer/songwriter and musician for more than 20 years now. His passion for recording started in the early 90's when he was asked to manage a small studio for the local non profit group, ACM. Today David has logged thousands of hours in recording sessions for both his own projects and those of others. He has developed a simple yet effective mindset for building a professional mix called the 4-3 Framework. Here is what one community member says about the 4-3. “Just shared your great video on 4-3 framework on my FB page. Dave.. this is a brilliant, well thought out structure. You should make a poster of it... I'd hang it in my studio for sure!” - HomeTracks David's desire and ability to produce professional audio, even on a small budget, has lead him to create the podcast and blog, Home Music Studio 1 Through this resource he has been able to help thousands of people create professional audio projects in their own home studios.


  • Cristian

    Reply Reply November 24, 2015

    Hi David! Im starting with recording, and i want to ask for your advice about Mics.
    Im going to record voice and an acoustic guitar, and I’ve the posibility to buy an AudioTechnica 2020 a Behringer C1 or the MXL 990/991 pack.
    I’ve using by now a Behringer Xenyx Q502USB as a interface/mixer to record a Samson Q7 (dynamic microphone) and Tracktion 4 (DAW that cames with Behringer xenyx).
    What condenser microphone will be better choice? I’m from Argentina and the Mics are very expensive and some brand are very difficult to find so those are my only options.
    My room is not acoustic, its a small place, and in the day it has noise from outside.
    Could you help me?

    Thanks you so much!

    • David

      Reply Reply November 25, 2015

      So if you’re on a budget, actually the MXL 990/991 pack is a great way to start. The slightly better option would be the AT2020 and an AT2021. The smaller diaphragm mics will work great for acoustic and the larger diaphram condensers will also work well. In a room not treated I’d actually recommend the cardioid AT2020 over the MXL990 but both will still work well with practice.

  • Jim Haas

    Reply Reply January 29, 2015

    I have both an AKG 414XL and an R-20. I know they’re not beginner/budget mics, but what I’ve used for years on nearly anything.

  • Ephraim

    Reply Reply July 24, 2014

    David – Just watched your Youtube video on selecting the right digital audio interface. I’m planning on recording audiobooks and commercial voiceovers. I am a rookie and have basic knowledge. I learn by trial and error and by watching folks like you. Is the MXL 990s mic a good mic for voice over work? Will it work well with a Focusrite 2i4 Scarlett interface? Anything else I need for doing home studio work as far as hardware? I plan to do all mixing and production in Adobe Audition to start. My budget is about $400-$500 total. Thanks.

    • David

      Reply Reply July 25, 2014

      Thanks for the question. The 990s would work pretty good for voice over in a quieter room. Another choice would be the Audio-Technica AT2020 The 2i4 is a great interface. One thought in voice over work is how quiet your room is. In a room that is not treated acoustically you may want an interface with a channel insert. This would allow you to use a compressor/noise gate when your recording. I actually do all my voice over work with the M-Audio M-Track And I use an earliy model of the DBX 266xs Comprssor/Gate

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

  • daniel

    Reply Reply January 14, 2014

    are the mxl 550s any good i saw a package deal with the focusrite scarlett 2i4 on ebay

    • David

      Reply Reply January 15, 2014

      Hey Daniel, the 550s,’s are great mics for the money. I think the 2i4 package and those mics are a great starting point. You can get some great recordings with a little practice.

  • Bruce Avilla

    Reply Reply December 5, 2013

    I noticed the MXL 770 is selling for $69.99 on Amazon (12/5/13). This model has the -10db pad, as well as the 150hz cut. It comes in a plastic carrying box, with shock mount. The reviews were almost unanimously good. Do you have any thoughts on this mic, compared to the MXL 990s that is currently $89? In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a money difference. What think ye?

    • David

      Reply Reply December 6, 2013

      Hey Bruce, great question. Between the 2, I’d still stick with the 990s. The highs on the the 770 have a bit higher peak around 10k and tapering off from there. The 990 has just a touch better signal to noise ratio ( I prefer the flatter response of the 990. That said, these 2 mics are very similar and though my tastes is the 990 either one would be a great mic for the $$.

  • Mark

    Reply Reply August 29, 2013

    I have been recording my singing for quite some time now with a cheap chat microphone and Audacity since I don´t yet have an audio interface to connect a better microphone to.

    I want to upgrade my gear and my questions are :
    1. What kind of microphone should I buy? ( I intend to only use it for multitrack singing.)
    2. What kind of audio interface should I buy? ( I don´t really know what I would want from it, just something that I can plug my mic into, maybe an input so I can connect my electric piano ( it has a MIDI input and output, not sure if that helps, I don´t really know how that works ).
    3. What kind of DAW should I use. ( Now this is obviously hard to answer as there are many choices for many purposes, I only want something that would be a little more proffesional than Audacity, simple, with some basic effects.
    4. What kind of headphones should I use? ( I want to be able to hear myself when recording and also hear the tracks already recorded, not sure if closed or open headphones are the answer, because I would´t hear myself in the first ones, and I´m afraid that the microphone would pick up the sound from the second ones.

    Thank you for your response.

    • David

      Reply Reply September 10, 2013

      Sorry about not responding to this sooner Mark, for some reason it was in my spam comments and I just realized it. At any rate I’ve included my response below.

      1.) For a great Mic that will give you excellent feature and not make you go broke, check out the
      Mxl 990S Condenser Microphone

      2.) One of the most affordable audio interfaces that still provides a great sound and I highly recommend is the
      Focusrite Scarlett 2I4 Usb Audio Interface

      3.) If you want a step up from Audacity but still affordable and great for multitracking I’d recommend Reaper
      hands down.

      4.) I personally use the
      Sennheiser Hd 280 Pro Closed-Back Headphones
      and would recommend them to this day.

      Hope this helps and let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.

  • Cortez

    Reply Reply July 21, 2013

    I’m hoping to get into the recording process soon, but have no knowledge of it sadly. Does the phantom power come from the audio interface setup? Also, should I just purchase the cheaper version of this microphone if I just wish to record vocals?

    • David

      Reply Reply July 22, 2013

      Hello Cortez, I’m happy to answer your question and any future ones you may have as you learn the art of recording. On the 990, it requires and external phatom power source and yes this would need to be a feature of your audio interface for the mic to work. On the 990 vs the 990s model. If you needed to save a few bucks, the 990 is the same element and the s model. You can still get a great vocal with that model and you can still eq it in your recording software. The 990s just makes this a little easier is all but for working within a smaller budget, the 990 will work just fine too.

      Don’t hesitate to ask if you need any more help!

      • Cortez

        Reply Reply July 23, 2013

        Thanks for the help David, ill be sure to come to you with any further concerns :)

  • Dan Updegraff

    Reply Reply November 14, 2012

    Just curious, what makes the -10db pad and the 150 hz low-cut so attractive? It seems like turning down the preamp gain or applying a high-pass filter in a DAW would do the same thing. Thanks.

    • David

      Reply Reply November 14, 2012

      Great question Dan, the -10db pad is slightly different than simply adjusting a gain in that is will stop the mic itself from clipping the diaphragm and not just the preamp channel. That may not be “exactly” what is taking place in the electronics of the mic, but this is the real world benefit it does bring. This is great for recording louder instruments like percussion and so forth.

      The 150Hz cut works the same way. Having this at the source can give more options when tracking. That said, I’ve never ran into a situation where the 150Hz cut could not also be done on the preamp or in post as the result on this feature sounds the same either way “in my opinion”.

      – Dave

      • Dan Updegraff

        Reply Reply November 14, 2012

        Thanks Dave. Sounds like the -10db pad is worth having in the toolbox after all. A great price on that mic too! I’m putting it on my list to Santa. :)

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